San Antonio, Tex. (CBS HOUSTON) — A branch of a Mexican university in San Antonio is offering a bilingual course in how to become a U.S. citizen.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is offering a 30-hour course at its satellite campus in San Antonio to give students mock interviews with U.S. immigration officials, academic lessons and other bilingual assistance in obtaining U.S. citizenship, KENS-TV reports.

The Mexico City-based school system will include writing, reading and civics courses to prepare locals in becoming American citizens. In addition to the English requirement of the naturalization test, American history and government are also tested.

“We’re really excited to be offering more resources for the community,” Jake Pacheco, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico spokesman, told KENS. “It’s important to educate the community to give them that strength that power.

The weekly course is being taught at the San Antonio satellite campus from Feb. 11 – April 15 from 6-9pm and costs $110.00 for the 30-hour coursework. Pacheco noted that UNAM offers the education course because it cannot offer consultation on a person’s immigration status due to the school system’s own non-profit status.

“It will just be a business that will promise a fast track when really the (process is long),” said Pacheco. He noted that students will undergo a mock interview with an inspector from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the course.

“We work with an inspector who’s been through the process and is now part of the system. That’s going to be greatly helpful to the students—that they have someone who has seen how it works,” Pacheco told Campus Reform. “They are going to interview them with empathy because this is a person who that has gone through the process.”

Pacheco said that many scams look to take advantage of people seeking naturalization, and now professionals can help guide people through the U.S. citizenship process safely and honestly. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service cites that the state of Texas ranks 4th nationally in annual naturalizations.

The UNAM website lists that the San Antonio branch has conducted academic and cultural collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico since 1944.

Benjamin Fearnow

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